Five Tips to Stay Positive In a Negative World
Negativity seems to be surrounding us every day. People on the street don’t wave at each other like they used to back in the day. Smiles are becoming few and far between. For many, the negative world has become the “new normal.” But it doesn’t have to be that way. Staying positive in a negative world is possible, though! Here, I’m going to discuss how to stay positive in a negative situation and a negative world.
For some of us, recent events have made it difficult to have positivity and stay hopeful about the future.
Not only is negativity around us, but it is human nature to put more emphasis on negative events than on positive events. This negativity bias served an evolutionary purpose from a time in our history when humans needed to stay constantly aware of the danger. That negative bias, along with negative news coverage and events in our surroundings can make it really challenging to keep positive and hopeful today.
Although much negativity exists in the world, you don’t have to let it affect you.
Instead, you can turn your attention to a more uplifting reality and become all the positive changes you wish to see. Send out the energy you wish to receive, and negativity will not be able to attach itself to your spirit. Despite all the horrors and tragedies going on in the world, there are still plenty of ways to keep your wellspring of positivity full.
Despite all the tragedies going on in the world, there are still so much to enjoy about being alive.
In your recovery, it is important to remember to stay active and seek support if you find yourself struggling. Directing too much of my attention to the news can be very unhealthy for my well-being. Instead, being proactive has been a much more positive way of handling things. Being proactive can be a much better solution than dwelling on the sadness of the world. Although grieving is natural, focusing too much on the news can leave you with a tremendous amount of weight on your shoulders.
How do we do that in the face of all the horrible things they show on the news? The good news is it is possible — it can be done!
Dwelling on these things could make you want to duck your head under the covers and not get up in the mornings. But telling yourself just to “not think about it” is neither possible, healthy, nor helpful. So if you want to change your personal experience in the midst of all the negativity around you, rethink how you’re thinking. In this article I’d like to share five of the best, smartest and most effective tips for staying positive in a negative world.
Tip #1: Reframe Your Thoughts
When we are defeated, it is easy to think negatively. A lot of times those automatic thoughts aren’t true and should be replaced with a more balanced thought. For example, some people are struggling financially these days. They might be thinking “I’m so irresponsible. I’m never going to climb out of this hole.” Instead, they could say “When I look at all my debt, I am overwhelmed. But there are small actions I can take now to start getting out of debt.”
The voice you hear the most is your own. And when that voice is constantly speaking negatively, it affects your entire outlook.
We are already living in a negative world, don’t compound that with negative self-talk inside your own head, too. It can be difficult to challenge negative thoughts and change your mindset, but it can be done. The first step is being aware of how you speak to yourself. Do you tell yourself things you would never say to a friend or even someone you disliked? If you’re like most women, you probably do, at least occasionally. Once you realize how you’re speaking to yourself, try being kinder to yourself by practicing positive affirmations for self-love. Remember that positivity starts from within.
One of the simplest but most effective ways to build a more positive outlook has in my experience been to ask more helpful questions as often as possible.
Many times, we magnify the world’s problems while forgetting about all the positive aspects of life that are right in front of us. When you catch your mind drifting to the darker parts of this world, focus on things that make you feel light instead: families playing at the park, a stranger smiling at you, or the person who complimented you on your outfit. The world is only as dark as we make it out to be. Instead of starting your day identifying any obstacles, re-frame the has opportunities for growth. Expect good things to happen and set yourself up for a more positive self-fulfilling prophecy!
Stop listening to news 24X7. Sure, you need to be alert to what’s happening in the world–but do you need to hear about the murders, political shenanigans, invasions, and health crises every hour on the hour?
One of the first things many of us do when we feel overwhelmed by bad news is to turn off the news, and there is wisdom in this impulse. Modern news media is not designed to inform you or equip you to take wise action. Instead it is designed to frighten you into shopping more. So choose carefully what you watch and listen to, but don’t switch off completely. Find a news source you trust, and stay aware. The world needs you to be aware. Be picky about the networks, pundits, analysts, “experts,” interviewers, reporters, and media you pay attention to. There are facts, spin, propaganda, and downright lies that make you weary and pollute your peace.
Instead of focusing on the dark parts of the world, focus on the things that make your feel light instead.
Focus on your favorite activities and positive aspects of life. Take time to look at the bigger picture and your long-term goals. Often, the world is only as dark as we make it out to be and it takes a moment of clarity to shift your focus. Turn off your phone for a while, meditate and embrace some personal solitude. Try not to over think on the negative and instead, take life day by day. Take time alone to center yourself. Avoid over-thinking and get away from life’s responsibilities, even if it is just for a while.
Tip #2: Surround Yourself With Uplifting People
Just like you don’t want to talk to yourself negatively all day, you also don’t want to be around others who speak poorly. Take stock of who you spend the most time with. Are these people who are building you up and making you feel better, or are they bringing you down?
If you are surrounded by too much negativity, it might be time to set some boundaries in your friendships.
You don’t have to cut people out completely, but make a concerted effort to spend more time with those who have a positive outlook on life and who will help you maintain your positivity, too. Sometimes nothing recharges you like being around a positive friend. Attitudes are contagious. This applies to both negative and positive attitudes. Sometimes there is nothing like talking to a positive friend to lift you up. It’s so good to know that someone supports you and is in your corner. Celebrate the good things in life together. It is incredible how just going for a walk with a friend or having a cup of coffee can recharge your batteries. Sometimes you need a positive friend to help rekindle your own spark and to help you stay positive.
Surround yourself with loving people who bring out the best in you.
The company you keep should inspire you, support you, and bring your best self to light. If the people you hang around don’t make you feel loved and respected, it’s time to reevaluate why you chose these people as friends. Focus on people who spread love and a zest for life, not those who perpetuate hate and fear. To be able to stay positive it is essential to have influences in your life that support you and lift you up instead of dragging you down. So carefully consider what you let into your mind. You can for example ask yourself: Who are the 3 most negative people I spend time with? What are the 3 of most negative sources of information I spend time on? Consider the answers. Then think about how you can start spending less time with one of those people or information sources this week.
With all that is in the media, it can be easy to forget the good people you have in your life.
Remember the people in your life who support you and bring your best self to light. If you do not have a supportive network of individuals in your life, it may be time to reevaluate your friendships. Find people that will remind you of the good left in the world. Personally, what’s helped me the most is surrounding myself with funny people and/or people who constantly crack jokes. When you hang around them long enough and you make an effort to have an open mind, you start seeing how they see the world differently. Funny people have strong mental health and intelligence. When you start out negative, you can only see the world around you in negative ways. Instead, funny people can even turn tragic situations into good laughs. They can really help you turn lemons into lemonade or even neutral situations into enjoyable ones.
How connected are you to positive people in your life?
Do you get busy and find that too much time goes by since you have spent quality time with people you love and enjoy? Do you consider social media to be your only connection to friends? If so, make an effort to reach out and connect with people who are a positive influence in your life. Make plans to meet up for coffee or dinner more often. Sit down for a meal, instead of eating in front of the TV. Put down your electronic devices when you are with others and spend time really connecting and talking with each other.
Tip #3: Have More Fun
Fun isn’t just for kids, but many adults forget this important fact. We get too involved in our jobs, running our households, and making sure everyone else has what they need. When that happens, fun is usually one of the first things that women, especially, forgo.
One of the most impactful changes I made towards my positive thinking was getting around humor more on a daily basis.
Laughter is like nature’s medicine. Instead of feeling sorry for myself because I have to deal with a certain difficulty, I try to see the humor in it. As long as it does not go into making fun of someone, this can be a very therapeutic release of emotions. It takes a negative instance or difficulty and turns it into something where you can get positive feedback. Fun and play are essential for decreasing your stress levels, improving your mood, stimulating your mind, and, yes, remaining optimistic in an otherwise pessimistic world. If you haven’t carved out some time for fun in a long time, try doing something fun (and free) with friends or with your family during a night in.
Find something that brings you joy and then make time for it.
Maybe there’s something you used to do that made you happy that has dropped out of your routine. Is it exercising, watching the sunset, drawing, or something else? Putting it back into your life, or adding something new, in a small dose can exponentially change the way you view your own happiness. Some people do achieve their dreams. For many people, however, the failure to even pursue a dream creates a dark realm of negativity that always stays there on the horizon.
To live a full and meaningful life, you need to add fun to it and shake things up a bit or a lot–it all depends on you.
Living life without fun can be very boring and also very unhealthy for you. Research has shown that having fun increases your productivity at work, improves your health, boosts your happiness, and enhances your personal and professional relationships. And, of course, having fun is a great way to boost your happiness. Do you remember the last time you did something really fun? Think about it–bring back to mind those memories where you got so incredibly lost in the moment. Now, sprinkle your life with more of those fun times.
The most important thing we can learn from life is that if you spend even 1 second unhappy, you have wasted that second.
You will never get it back and you will have to ask yourself why you couldn’t be happy. Today, people try all kinds of ways to keep happy, such as weight loss, trying new clothes or trying to be popular on social media. But people have forgotten the most important aspect of being happy — to have fun while doing it. The fun keeps your mind sound and helps you recharge your senses for the day ahead. Remember, you can only keep going forward in life is you are happy with yourself and your surroundings. Having fun is just a simpler way to keep yourself busy and ready to face new challenges.
Tip #4: Practice Gratitude
Practicing gratitude is a key way how to stay positive in a negative world. A gratitude practice is one of the simplest and most effective ways to cultivate a positive mindset. No matter who you are or where you are in life, there is something to be grateful for, and you can learn to appreciate the little things in life. All you need is a journal and five minutes to jot down what you are thankful for, and you’ll be well on your way to increasing your positivity.
When you stop to count your blessings, you start to realize how many you have.
What are the positive things in your life? The more that you look for them, the more of them you will see. The list seems to go on and on once you really start looking for them. Once you make a list of all the things in your life that are good, it helps you see that there are many wonderful things in the world and in your life particularly. Life is good! News and social media make it easy to forget about the good that is going on in your life. You may feel there is not much to smile about. Still, despite the circumstances outside of our control, there is plenty to be grateful for. Smile because you have the ability to contribute to society and celebrate the good in your life. Wake up every morning and make a list of what you are grateful for.
Do you stop and recognize good moments as they happen?
Did you notice the sun shining today as you woke up, the smile you received from the coffee shop employee this morning or the good fortune of hitting all green lights on your ride to work? When we are so busy rushing around we tend to miss the little things that bring joy into our lives. We are so focused on what we need to do next on our to do list that we completely miss good moments. Take some time to look around for the little things and briefly pause to savor them throughout your day.
Gratitude matters. A grateful heart is a contented heart. A contented heart is a simple heart. And a simple heart leads to a simplified life.
Gratitude opens the door to simplicity. A person who is grateful for the things they own will care for them, enjoy them, and waste less energy seeking more. They will experience fulfillment in the gifts they already possess rather than looking outside themselves for more. A new day, a warm bed, a loving spouse, a child in your life, a unique personality, or a special talent… You have wonderful things in your life already. Gratitude quickly sets in when we begin to spend a quiet moment each day remembering them. This practice alone has the potential to change your heart and life immeasurably.
When one is well-aware of the importance of what they have, they turn out to be more confident and compassionate, which results in a boost of self-esteem.
Moreover, when you appreciate others you are more likely to adopt appreciable things from them. You can incorporate their positive qualities within yourself, helping you become a better person. In a nutshell, gratitude is the way to ultimate satisfaction. We waste a lot of energy and time complaining, which creates negative outcomes in our lives. This is energy that can be shifted towards practicing gratitude, which will have a positive impact on our lives. By simply shifting your focus from the have-nots to the things you actually have in your life, you can improve your life dramatically.
Tip #5: Give Freely
Giving freely is inspired by those who seek no recognition for themselves. Its one desire is to produce results. In return, you can rest assured that you have made a small, but positive change in the world in that moment and sometimes that’s all you need to get through a tough day. There is a certain joy which comes from giving to others that cannot be replicated by anything else in the world today. That joy is even greater when you give without drawing attention to yourself.
People who give back are better equipped at handling stress and are overall more happy, positive people.
Lots of these tips have been focused on looking inward and on changes you can make in your own mental and physical life. But looking outside of yourself can help bring about more positivity, too. That’s especially true when you give your time to helping others who are less fortunate. If you already have a cause or an organization you donate to, keep it up. If you’re looking for a way to give back (without even having to spend any money), volunteering or donating extra supplies are just two of the many ways to do just that.
What you send out you tend to get back from the world and the people in it. Not from everyone. And not every time. But what you send out there matters a whole lot.
What you give them and how you treat them is what you’ll get back. And they way you treat others and how you think of them also tend to have a big effect on how you treat and think about yourself. So give value and spread the positivity by for example: Helping out. Lend a hand when moving. Give a friend a ride in your car. If he or she needs information then help out by checking it up on Google or asking a friend of yours. Or start a blog or a podcast and share what’s helped you out in life.
When we share our own niceness or generosity with someone else, it makes us feel like we are thoughtful people, it reminds us of how nice we are and how deserving we are of kindness.
While all acts of kindness are inherently wonderful, there is something even more magical about doing something thoughtful but mentioning it to no one, ever. You always feel good when you give to others. Rather than diluting the positive feelings by telling others about your own kindness, by keeping it to yourself you get to retain all the positive fallings. It’s really true that one should give for the sake of giving, not to receive something in return. This is precisely what you are doing when you don’t mention your kindness to others — your rewards are the warm feelings that come from the act of giving. The next time you do something really nice for someone else, keep it to yourself and revel in the abundant joy of giving.
It’s time to share the love! It’s so important to regularly show appreciation and kindness to the people you love.
And, one of the best ways to do this is by giving them an intentional and loving hug. Hugs help people get through bad days. Giving a hug is a way of giving the special people in your life some comfort. After a long day, or after dealing with an unfavorable situation, it is often refreshing to receive a hug from someone you love. Oxytocin is a chemical in our bodies that scientists sometimes call the “cuddle hormone.” This is because its levels rise when we hug, touch, or sit close to someone else. Oxytocin is associated with happiness and less stress.
There will be times when we will want to embrace negativity. There will be times when you have no desire to feel happy. This is natural. This type of negativity only becomes a problem when you allow it to continually dominate your life. Sometimes we need to feel angry and negative to inspire the changes we need to make in our lives. Choosing negativity every day, however, is not healthy.
Staying positive does not just naturally happen. You have to first make the decision to stay more positive and then take action.
The biggest thing is just the determination to see it through, however, there are some things that you can do when things get rough. The first is to envision yourself as you want to be. Start thinking of yourself as a positive person. The brain is quite remarkable when it comes to things like that because it takes the input that it gets and tries to make it so. If you think of yourself as a positive person, you will be much more inclined to start taking the steps to live up to your own expectations.
Keep the big picture in mind when you are faced with challenges.
Try to analyze the why, and give the benefit of the doubt. Don’t overthink things. Take a few deep breaths. Imagine yourself exhaling all that frustration, anger, and negative feelings, and breathing in love, joy, peace, and contentment. Try to let go of worry and count your blessings. Remember what you are grateful for. Practice some self-care or go for a walk or cup of coffee with a positive friend. Our attitudes are contagious.
You can find positivity even in a negative world. It just takes a little effort to make you a priority in order to increase positive energy in you and around you!
If you want to learn how to stay positive, it’s not rocket science. Use these tips on a weekly basis, I guarantee that your average level of positivity will increase (especially the comedy one). It’s taken me a while to find these but you get to short cut the process. I hope you’ll share some of your strategies of staying positive and finding inner strength in the comments below.
Digital Dandy. Hacker From Heart. Workaholic. Coding Artist. Self-made.